Live-Blogging Lesson #3: Updating Previous Projects

23 March 2014 | 12 Comments

A few days into the Tuscany Kickstarter campaign, a backer named Luca asked me, “Aren’t you going to post updates on your old Euphoria and Viticulture campaigns?”

At first my answer was no. I had already sent an e-newsletter to 5,700+ people, most of whom are either Euphoria or Viticulture backers. People already have crowded inboxes; I didn’t want to add yet another mass e-mail to the mix (unless they’ve unsubscribed to updates, backers get project updates in their inboxes).

Plus, I’ve backed my fair share of projects, and I’m not a huge fan of when I get a project update in my inbox that has nothing to do with that project. There are some publishers that I follow, but if I follow a publisher enough that I want to know about all of their projects, I subscribe to their e-newsletter. It’s not a big problem, but sometimes if a creator has run several Kickstarters, I’ll get several updates all in a row about their new project.

So I was hesitant to post updates on Euphoria and Viticulture, but in the end I did. And I’m glad I did, because I saw an immediate increase in pledges. Here’s why:

  • Some of my previous backers only want information about Viticulture or Euphoria, so they don’t subscribe to my e-newsletter.
  • Some “backers” were involved in group buys of Viticulture and Euphoria, so they’re neither on my e-newsletter or on the project update e-mail update list. Instead, they check in on Kickstarter every now and then to see if there are any updates on those projects.

Here’s how I did it in a way that felt right to me:

  • I didn’t post one update after the other. Rather, I posted an update on Euphoria, waited a few days, then posted an update on Viticulture.
  • I wrote each update from scratch–no copying and pasting. You can read them here and here–they’re completely different.
  • I tried to apply the content of each update to that particular audience. In the Euphoria update, I talk about how the latest stretch goal unlocked on Tuscany is about building structures, and thus I thought it might appeal to everyone who “built a better dystopia.” There was a more direct connection with Viticulture and Tuscany, but I spent the entire update answering frequently asked questions from original Viticulture backers.

Overall, I tried to follow the cardinal rule of Kickstarter and marketing: Don’t be annoying.

At least, I tried not to be annoying. I’m probably way more annoying than I realize. But I try not to be.

Do you have any thoughts to add to this topic?

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12 Comments on “Live-Blogging Lesson #3: Updating Previous Projects

  1. I’m continually impressed by the volume of unique content you are able to put out. In general I think this improves the sense that any update/blog post from Stonemaier Games is likely to have something of value in it. Good job making this such a strong part of your brand!

  2. Queen Games is a good example of a publisher that blasts all of their previous campaigns with any information about any of their new or current campaigns. It is a bit annoying, but I’ve come to expect it and simply delete the 2nd or third email I get that I know will be exactly like the first one. Now, with you, I am on your Viticulture list (of secondary markets buyers anyway) and your Euphoria list and I subscribe to your e-newsletter, as well as to several of your blog posts. I was actually a little surprised at first that I didn’t get blasted and was wondering why… then when they finally came, it was like, oh, I guess he finally thought of that. To be honest, at first it was a little like, oh, I guess he doesn’t care about the Euphoria folks as much (hehe), but until this blog post, I didn’t realize how much nicer it was and how much I appreciate the fact the emails were different and did try to appeal to each audience… that was actually a very nice touch… although admittedly the tie-in between building in Euphoria and building structures in Viticulture was a bit of a stretch… Still, it was the thought and effort that mattered. And, I ended up reading ALL of the emails instead of just auto trashing them, and each one had me thinking about Tuscany all over again, which is what you want.

    I think that it was very effective and a very nice touch. … and that’s why I subscribe to all of your stuff like I do… Well done Jamey!


    1. Gordon: Thanks for mentioning this. I certainly didn’t mean to neglect my Euphoria backers! :) Perhaps I should have posted their sooner after launch. I’m glad that the the different messages got you to read each one of them (nothing against Queen Games, but if people are auto-deleting messages because they know they’re the same, that’s not good!)

  3. Jamey, your update to Euphoria was the direct cause for me to back Tuscany (bundled with the Viticulture base game). I missed Viticulture the first time around, but backed Tuscany based on my enjoyment of Euphoria. Thank you for deciding to do the cross-post update.

  4. I enjoy the updates. I think most backers are so hungry for the games that they will gobble up any relevant information available. I know I enjoy pictures or graphic renderings of the latest stretch goals, information relating to any changes or stretch goals and maybe teaser info on future happenings for stretch goals. I would also want to be notified through the KS updates about a project in-case I missed the newsletter info.

  5. That’s good to know. :) So am I on the right track with Tuscany updates so far? I can be a bit verbose, so I try to stick to a few key topics and mix in photos and text, as well as space out updates every couple of days. (I’m referring to Tuscany’s project updates, a slightly different topic than the above blog entry.)

  6. You are not annoying!

    I want more updates with lot of text and content. Honestly, I think it conveys a lot more than tons of cute drawings often present in KS projects with a lot of minis :)

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